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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Letter 49 ~ October 11, 1918

Minnie writes me about a moment when she thought the school board was going to fire her. Says she still likes her school and enjoys playing with the children.

Addressed to Mr. Ward C. Griffing, 25th Company, 164th Depot Brigade, Camp Funston, Kansas

Manhattan, Kansas

October 11, 1918

My Dear Boy:

Home again [in Manhattan. My brother] John came up this evening and got me about six o’clock. I wasn’t quite thru cleaning the school house when he came. I had to do an extra good job. I don’t suppose I’ll go back next week. Then I had to grab things together in such a hurry when we got down to Parkerson’s. On our road home, we got stuck in the mud. John said the road was just fine going up and it had rained while he was up there waiting for me. It was awful for a mile or so and we didn’t have any chains.

I guess [my brother-in-law] Charlie [Scholer] has had the influenza and is getting over it. Fay Seaton called out tonight and asked [my sister] Bertha if there was any word. She wanted him to take to Charlie. He is going to Washington [D.C.] to see Mr. Seaton. Mrs. Seaton and the two babies were buried here today.

Ethel [Arnold] came home yesterday. She will be home for a week now at least.

Kate called my sister] Bertha tonight and told her that Frank [Blair] said the influenza had died down in Washington [D.C.]. She’s happy. Bertha is going to send Frank’s address to Charlie.

The school board came to my school this afternoon. I was scared. I thought they had come to fire me. No, they came up to see what I thought about closing school [due to the influenza epidemic], turning the clock back, etc.

[My brother’s] John and Lester went to a party tonight down at Blockasky’s. They wanted me to go with them, but I was altogether too tired. I sure would have liked to tho. I haven’t been to one since Ethel Arnold’s birthday party, I guess. I wouldn’t care much about going to one on College Hill tho. I would miss you too much.

Bertha has changed her plans about going to Washington [D.C.] a week from today. She’s afraid it wouldn’t be wise to take her baby then. Ruth is awfully fussy tonight – she isn’t feeling well.

I didn’t hear from you today so I thought perhaps you were transferred or you might be sick, but the folks had a card from you today so I guess you are all right yet. That is certainly fine.

I took a picture of the [school] children today. I sure hope it is good. Ward, I am getting to like teaching up there better every day. I know I’ll just hate to leave when spring comes. I just love all those children – better than I ever thought was possible for a teacher to. But they are every one so good to me. It’s teacher this, and teacher that. They are just wild for me to play with them at recess and noon. And I sure like to get out and tare around with them. We play “keep away” with the ball, mostly. I like teaching lots better than going to school. I used to think I’d rather go to school than anything else. Not anymore do I think that. And I feel so much better. I’ve never in my life felt so well physically and in such good spirits as I’ve been since I began teaching (not that I’ve ever been an invalid – far from it).

I’m going to college next winter, I guess, because I feel it would be best for me. My brain needs developing. And as George Haas would say, “I must be a cultured woman.” I don’t look forward to it with the anticipation I use to tho. Maybe I will if you come back soon. I’ve always been so anxious to go to school with you. Along school lines, we’ve never been interested in the same thing. Even if we are not in the same class, we would be in the same school.

I brought your picture along this time. I didn’t think I would get to see you this weekend and I couldn’t get along without seeing that picture all next week. Boy, I wish you were going to be at home all week. We would sure have a time, wouldn’t we? I wish I could go up to Camp [Funston] Sunday, but I guess there’s nothing doing. It’s twenty minutes of twelve, so good night, dear Ward. – Minnie G. Frey

  • Daylight Saving Time was not formally adopted in the U.S. until 1918. 'An Act to preserve daylight and provide standard time for the United States' was enacted on March 19, 1918. It both established standard time zones and set summer DST to begin on March 31, 1918. Daylight Saving Time was observed for seven months in 1918 and 1919. After the War ended, the law proved so unpopular (mostly because people rose earlier and went to bed earlier than people do today) that it was repealed in 1919 with a Congressional override of President Wilson's veto. Daylight Saving Time became a local option, and was continued in a few states, such as Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and in some cities, such as New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago.
  • Ruth Lillian Scholer was born 24 February 1918 in Topeka, the daughter of Charles and Bertha (Frey) Scholer. Ruth would grow up to marry Howard Liebengood, a graduate of the KSAC Veterinary School. Ward’s son, William J. Griffing – also a veterinarian – would eventually buy out Howard’s practice in Bremen, Indiana in 1945.
  • Probably 39 year-old George Haas of Madison Township, Riley County, Kansas, a German immigrant who ran a hardware store.

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